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  • Writer's pictureJace Shoemaker-Galloway

Happy Paper Clip Day

May 29 celebrates a product that most of us take for granted. It's (National) Paper Clip Day, an annual "holiday" that recognizes those handy dandy products that help keep us organized and our desks nice and neat.

The History of Paper Clips

While today's clips are available in a slew of colors, shapes and sizes, Johan Vaaler, a Norwegian inventor who lived from 1866 to 1910, is often credited as inventing the paper clip back in 1899. But it was Gem Manufacturing LTD that actually created the "double oval" shape design we still use today.

During World War II, the Germans forbade Norwegians to wear buttons with the Norwegian king's initials on their clothing. As a sign of solidarity, the people wore paper clips on their clothing to symbolize the Norwegian invention and to symbolize unity. Later, anyone caught wearing a paper clip was subject to immediate arrest! Today, a giant paper clip monument has been erected near Oslo to honor his contribution.

The next time you use a paper clip to help tidy up your papers or work area, give a little love and a silent shout-out to the folks who turned small pieces of wire into a useful product that helps make our lives a lot easier!


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